First Base Options
With the departure of Hosmer, the Kansas City Royals will need to find someone at first base. Internally, options are pretty limited. Brandon Moss or Cuthbert, who will likely be at third base, could move to first base or they could call up Frank Schwindel or Ryan O’Hearn. These options don’t inspire much confidence. Outside the franchise there are more appealing options:
The Tampa Bay first baseman and Kansas City native could make his way back home to play first base in a Royals uniform. In 2017, Morrison’s slash line was .246/.353/.516 with 38 home runs. This would move the Kansas City Royals in the power direction they have been heading. He wouldn’t provide as much offense as Hosmer did, but Morrison offers a more consistent —albeit considerably lower — batting average, hitting .245 over his eight-year career. He also provides a left-handed bat to replace Hosmer.
This would be a good consistent bat for the Kansas City Royals if they are looking to spend money on first without breaking the bank. Last year, Morrison made $2.5 million in a one-year deal with the Rays. I could see the Royals signing him for around two years and $8-9 million, as his numbers did tick up a bit from previous years.
Alonso had a good year with the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners. He hit a slash line of .266/.365/.501 with 28 home runs. Alonso would be a slightly better option than Morrison, as far as production goes. He would cost a bit more, though, so the Kansas City Royals would have to decide if he is worth it.
The Royals should go after him, especially if they feel Schwindel and O’Hearn are a few years off. Alonso could provide a nice bat while the Royals continue to develop their first base prospects. I imagine Alonso will probably get a deal around three years and $18-20 million.
The 32-year-old first baseman had a good year for the Boston Red Sox. Moreland hit a slash line of .246/.326/.443 with 22 home runs. Although not as effective as Hosmer, he could still be a good replacement for him, while we wait for the farm system to develop more at the first base position.
Moreland is the oldest of the three options I mentioned. He made $5.5 million last year and, with an upswing in his numbers, will probably get a deal for two years and $12-$13 million dollars. He had a better year than 2016, so I imagine he will get a slight pay bump — but not much.
The internal options at first base still need more time to develop. While the Kansas City Royals are rebuilding, they could throw them in the fire and see how they do. But there are cheaper options available than Hosmer at first base, and the Royals should pursue them.